Thursday, 29 January 2015

Management & Motivation

Any non-football supporter could be forgiven for thinking this Soccer World Cup was all about the money. The news has covered how three African teams threatened various strike actions unless they were paid their cash bonuses up front; the fact that the four top paid players on the German team earn more than the entire American team combined; and that the final took place between two of the three wealthiest teams in the World, to name just three examples.

Does this mean that at the end of the day motivation is all around money? I would suggest not, particularly when you consider that other headlines included Greece’s team declining their bonuses to build a player centre for current and future footballers to improve their skills; there were rumours of Algeria donating their bonuses to the poor in Gaza and German player Mesut Ozil donated his bonus from winning the World Cup to help pay for the surgeries of 23 Brazilian children in need..
                                                
So what then motivates the best of teams to come together and perform at crunch time? Sure, your staff members show up for a salary, but what do they stay for? Is it all about the promise of a fat cash bonus as was the case with the African teams? Or can you motivate with growth and development, with belief and loyalty to your company, as was obviously done with Greece? Or by building a team that works together and for each other until they are of one mind, like Germany? Or do you get yourself exceptional individuals who can do it all, like Brazil or Argentina?

Let us look for a moment at the World Cup champions, Germany. Their management seem to have found a way to combine all of these motivational elements along with their strategic planning and training. The team is paid well, it is made up of high value specialised players, the bonuses promised were more than fair, they have spent the past two years training intensively together with this singular goal in mind. A dash of national pride and the opportunity to be the first European team to win the World Cup on South American soil, and Germany played exceptionally well and few would disagree that the best team throughout the tournament won.


At the end of the day, how you manage and motivate depends on your goal as a company. You have to decide whether you need a team or a loose group of experts, whether you need regular short term goals met or if you are working towards one big one. One clear lesson from the World Cup is that you need to invest in building the team you need.

*As published in Accountancy South Africa magazine in August 2014

Monday, 12 January 2015

idu-Concept Version 5 - Tips & Tricks Part 2

Welcome back to our mini-series of tips, tricks and special features available in idu-Concept Version 5.

Knowing that Excel is the base that most people are familiar with, Version 5 has been updated with familiar Excel functionality in keeping with our goal of simplifying our software for non-financial users.

In Budget views, you can select which columns you need to display per view and rearrange the order. We have added an “Export Page” icon that can export any data as per your screen; meaning you can expand and collapse any data and what is displayed on screen is what will export to Excel.

In the Budget type and Summary views you can now export your data, change it and import it back into your fiscal set with no trouble. There is an export and import for either Values or Units defined on the budget types where applicable; especially Capex that didn’t distinguish in Version 4. Unit capturing has also been added on-screen from the Classic views.

On Summary views an easy navigation ‘back’ button was implemented where you drilldown on budget types or accounts; it is worth noting that the Summaries are now in different tabs at the bottom of the screen. Another addition to Summary levels is the Variance Analysis.

The Account Info button now contains menu items to add Optional Fields and, a new feature here, the ability to add supporting documentation. This button turns yellow when there is added information and returns to blue if anything is deleted or removed.

Our new HELP facility is a point of pride of the system. It is specifically linked to the area that you are working in; so when you select HELP on a screen, the system will take you to the HELP information for that page or functionality.

One of our favourite additions in terms of special extras for our clients is having the Analytics Model fitted into V5, easily located on the toolbar. This allows you to slice and dice the information to get so much more from your data than you could previously without having to use a separate Analytics tool.

Next month we will be taking a closer look at the many additions to the Admin module, so don’t forget to check in then!